The recent earthquakes have shown the high vulnerability of the façades of churches, which detached from the longitudinal walls and failed by overturning. While being well known, this collapse mechanism is still under study as regards the contribution provided by the connections with longitudinal walls as well as the influence of masonry morphology. Three churches with single nave, which have suffered the abovementioned damage during the April 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy, are considered in the present paper. The seismic behavior of the churches is analyzed taking into account the effective morphology of masonry, by means of 2D Distinct Element analyses under both increasing static forces and dynamic acceleration pulses. The resulting capacity curve is then evaluated and compared to the case of a rigid body overturning showing to what extent the latter model provides a reliable estimate of the seismic behavior of the façade.